April 26, 2018
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Police arrest three men after alleged copper theft spree

By Abigail Curtis, BDN Staff

BELFAST, Maine — Police released details Monday about a series of copper and other thefts in Waldo County that led to the arrest earlier this month of three Hancock County men.

According to Detective Jason Bosco of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office, Stewart Carney, 30, of Bucksport; Matthew Reed, 28, of Orland; and William Robichaud, 29, of Bucksport were all charged with burglary and theft in relation to the incidents.

Five different law enforcement agencies cooperated on the investigation, Bosco said: the sheriff’s office, Bucksport Police Department, Belfast Police Department, Searsport Police Department and Maine State Police.

“There was really good police work … by all agencies involved,” he said.

Altogether, thousands of dollars of materials were stolen on July 30 and July 31 from two Frankfort quarries, from Lane Construction in Belfast and from Sunrise Materials on Route 1 in Searsport, he said.

The sheriff’s office received a call on July 30 from a granite quarry on Spout Hill Road in Frankfort that thieves had taken a large quantity of copper wire, industrial batteries, very specialized granite drill bits, scrap metal and tools, Bosco said.

The next day, both Belfast and Searsport police investigated reported burglaries of a lot of copper pipes, metal scraps, cutting torches and a laptop computer from Sunrise Materials and industrial batteries, electric motors and metal scrap from Lane Construction in Belfast.

Maine State Police also investigated the burglary of another granite quarry in Frankfort, where thieves stole a lot of power tools, Bosco said.

Later on July 31, a Bucksport policeman came upon a broken-down truck carrying a large quantity of copper wire, pipe, industrial batteries and scrap metal. Robichaud and Carney were in the truck, and the officer was concerned enough about the load of metal that he took photos of the truck’s contents. However, the officer at that point was unaware of the Waldo County burglaries, according to the detective.

When police in Bucksport did hear about those burglaries, the officer sent over the photographs.

“The materials in the truck looked similar to what was missing in the burglaries,” Bosco said.

Police investigation led to J&J Recycling on the Orrington-Brewer town line, where officials learned that Robichaud and Carney recently had brought in a large quantity of scrap metal — including unique granite drill bits, he said.

A delegation from the burglarized businesses went to the recycling company, where they all found some of the stolen materials.

“Some of the stuff they were able to get back,” Bosco said. “Some was already damaged.”

Police then were able to recover stolen tools from Reed’s house as well as information about where other tools had been pawned.

Detectives interviewed all three men, Bosco said, and all three admitted to their involvement in the burglaries.

They were booked at Waldo County Jail in Belfast, and have been released on bail.

Carney also was charged with violation of his conditions of release from a prior charge.

Further charges may be pending against the trio, Bosco said.

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